Manual versus Automatic Turnouts

How do you feel about using manual versus automatic turnouts? I know some people feel like they're part of the railroad if they actually
have to get down and throw the manual switch.
Myself, I definitely prefer the automatic ones, but I absolutely hate wiring the damn things up, it's so monotonous (and I usually plan for a lot of turnouts). I had automatic turnouts on my last layout, and I think it took quite a bit out of me to wire them all (ended up dampening my enthusiasm, you know?).
I've actually been thinking of using manual turnouts on my next layout, just for the simple fact that I can slap them down quicker and be done with them. They're also cheaper, although that's not the major concern. I also found some of the automatic turnouts didn't work that well, they were kind of hit and miss. I did love operating the automatic ones though, not sure how I'd feel about using the manuals.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Manual for a couple of reasons.
One - I like to follow my trains around the layout, it was built with that in mind.
Two - I can't afford, or don't want to spend, something like Can$20 per switch (That's what _real_ railroaders call 'em. Only editors of model magazines insist on "turnout".)
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

magazines insist on "turnout"
Dammit! I call them switches myself, but I forced myself to use turnout because that's what I thought they were "supposed" to be called. I will say one thing about the term turnout: It's clear what it is. I suppose that's why editors favor it. Switch could mean anything.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Roger T." wrote:

I'm not an editor! - I use switches to control electricity. - I mount switches on turnouts for route control. - I use switches to control points on turnouts. - I use point motors with end-off switching.
Regards, Greg.P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And I'm a model railroader who models a railroad and, like real railroaders, I "line the switch", not a "turnout".
You go ahead and play trains and use your "turnouts", I'll operate my model railway and "line a switch".
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Roger T." wrote:

My prototype never used "switches" and as I understand it many US railways did not either.
Regards, Greg.P.
=8^)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In the late 40s when I got into model railroading they were called switches and the relative size of the models were stated as O gauge, HO gauge etc. Except for those who like to argue, who cares -- it's not hard to figure out what you're talking about.
Jim Bright

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Actually, I saw a BNSF track bulletin the other day that called one a turnout :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We called 'em turnouts on the Southern Railway when I was there. We also called 'em switches. Either one would do, but the official term was turnout. We even had specially built cars to carry pre-built turnout kits we called -get this- Turnout cars.
Froggy,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Amcrash is doing that now on the Keystone Corridor. They (or Pohl Corp) would make em and ship em wherever. I've also seen tractor and trailers hauling "snap track" to some places...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Roger T. wrote:
>> How do you feel about using manual versus automatic turnouts? I >> know some people feel like they're part of the railroad if they >> actually have to get down and throw the manual switch. > > Manual for a couple of reasons. > > One - I like to follow my trains around the layout, it was built with > that in mind. > > Two - I can't afford, or don't want to spend, something like Can$20 > per switch (That's what _real_ railroaders call 'em. Only editors of > model magazines insist on "turnout".)
Arguable. :-)
On the railway I work for they are called turnouts, and that terminology seems to be used throughout Australia these days.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Exactly... I've also hear from dispatchers:
plant bend metal dam things won't work old Reading junk etc...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
iarwain snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Electrify the main-line ones - that way you can set a route from anywhere on the layout you might want to. Operate the local sidings by hand. One nice thing about Peco turnouts and motors is that one fitted with a motor can still be operated by hand. (I mount mine onto the underside of the turnout with brown paper beneath the sleepers, which also allows removal of the ballasted turnout without total demolition)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Iarwain:
I used to control mine mechanically with a system I got from (I think) THE BOYS' BOOK OF MODEL RAILROADING, which was languishing at our public library. I used fishing line pulling on wire cranks, attached to popsicle-stick levers, and rubber bands to pull the switches back to the normal position. It worked...okay. That railroad is now defunct.
I think the use of 'turnout' in model rr'ing cropped up to avoid confusion with electrical switches. I don't doubt 'turnout' was used somewhere in real railroading; possibly in England, though I think 'point' was the word there. Eric LaNal used to try to inject English terms into the Model Craftsman articles I have read, "fixing-hole", "mech", and that sort of thing.
Cordially yours, Gerard P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gannon.edu wrote:

What about throttle cables? Has anyone tried adapting these? Piano wire in plastic tubing might work too. There's got to be an easier way!
Mac B.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
polar bear spake thus:

Yeah, or maybe even bicycle brake cable; you could use bike gearshift levers to operate the switches[1]. Could probably get these for next to nothing.
[1] Nobody I've ever talked to calls them "turnouts", even if that's the "official" nomenclature. Perhaps the brass uses that term ...
--
... asked to comment on Michigan governor George Romney's remark that
the army had "brainwashed" him in Vietnam-a remark which knocked Romney
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The folks who build model airplanes use a control device consisting of a yellow rod inside of a red tube. There are fittings and bell cranks and all sorts of clevises and so on to move the thrust around corners. It is easily adaptable to switch control, and I have used it with success in the past for that application. I seem to remember that it is called "goldenrod" or some such. Hit the hobby shop and feign an interest in model planes and see what you come up with.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 26 Nov 2005 21:42:54 -0800, video guy - www.locoworks.com wrote:

Looked pretty expensive last time I was on their web site.
--
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wish i read this before i posted: www.aeromicro.com/Catalog/hornet_parts_116935_products.htm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
polar bear wrote:

Piano wire in plastic tube is pretty much standard in England. Choke cables used to be cheap at car wreckers - only problem was that the knobs are different on each model. Not many recent cars actually had manual chokes. Rod works well - you need a die to thread the ends for nuts. Mount a cheap slide switch under the tie bar, with a peice of wire drilled into the plastic knob and the threaded rod through the knob along the line of movement. The other end of the rod comes through the layout facia and a knob from the hardware store fitted. The problem of thread/string/fishing line is that it changes length with time and temperature so point positions aren't guarenteed.
Regards, Greg.P.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.